Michael Persico son of imprisoned Colombo crime family boss Carmine (The Snake) Persico has filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea on loansharking charges. Persico has swung what many thought was a sweet plea deal granting him immunity from prosecution on more serious crimes including murder facing only 37 to 46 months behind bars. But now the mafia prince claims the government used back door means to breach the agreement in a 38 page filing made by his lawyer this week. He was caught making an usurious loan of $100,000 to a cohort back in 2009 and plead guilty as to terms of the plea agreement back in 2012.
Court filings claim that prosecutors sent a message to probation officials suggesting that the judge in the case upwardly depart from the recommended 37 to 46 month sentence which his lawyer said would have his client facing the statutory maximum for his crime of five years. Prosecutors also allegedly told probation officials that they had a preponderance of evidence against Perisco that could prove he took part in mafia murders along with a couple of other murder conspiracies. Marc Fernich attorney for Persico said this was exact language that is used to describe a standard of proof judges use to weight evidence in sentencing procedures.
Fernich said that probation officials had heard the message loud and clear because every sentence made by them after the representation of preponderance that the government claims merit upward consideration. But Fernich did leave a way out for his client and the prosecutors short of the plea deal falling apart and that was to have a different judge who had not been tainted by the governments efforts to advocate a greater sentence on Persico be used.
Prosecutors now have until October 13 to make the next move and agree to the withdrawal and ask for a trial date to be set or to oppose the motion completely. Persico could face life in prison at trial where he would be open to murder charges along with other typical mob crimes.